Dear New Caledonia,
This is it, our final farewell. I’m sad that this chapter in our life is ending but I am so happy that it took place. I have always said, coming to New Caledonia is the best decision we ever made. As I reflect back on the past four years I am flooded with memories, moments and friendships. It has taught me things, pushed me to be stronger and more adventurous. It has been a gift the Caillou.
I will admit our first few days on the island were tough. I wanted to go home. It was so hot and it all seemed so different. But in time this place became home. We adjusted to the heat, we learned how to do things and we found our rhythm. New Cal you have taught me patience. You taught me to enjoy the simple things in life, good food, good friends. You have shown us that the North American way is not always the better way. You have taught me that life is to short to always be rushing, to take time and enjoy the moment. You have shown me beautiful beaches, water that is so turquoise, it takes my breath away. Your colonial pines, flamboyant trees, palms, hibiscus & tropical flowers. Your Pacific sunsets, warm breezes and still air. The millions of stars in your clear skies. Your beauty is undeniable.
Your people are kind. They smile, they giggle and they are colourful. The are all so different but are woven into a beautiful tapestry that is uniquely New Caledonian. I sometimes worry about you New Caledonia. I fear that you are focused are what separates you and makes you different, instead of what binds you together on this small island. I hope that you will find your way, as one, with a united spirit.
Thank you for giving me this home. Letting me have Theo here and letting us raise Seth in flip flops and shorts. We are so grateful for the education he has received, the amount of French he speaks and yes, even his eyebrow gestures. Thank you for giving us our sweet Nounou. My boys have enjoyed, passion fruit, lychees, mangoes and all kinds of food served by her. She has taught them how to be New Cal kids. She has given them so much love. We feel so blessed that we had her. We will miss her.
You have given us so many friends. From all over the world and from here. Australians, Swedes, South Africans, Zimbabwéens, Belgiums, Dominicans, French, and Canadians. I’ve learned that the Africans make the best desserts, the Dominicans can seriously cook, the Swedes really do love Ikea, and that the Aussies have their own language (bathers?) We have had endless parties, BBQs, camping trips, weekend get aways, Sunday Fundays, coffees and laughs.
But alas, it must end. We must go home. It’s time, we feel it. But not to worry, I am taking you with me in my heart. I am taking you with me in my memories and my island boys. You have changed me forever, and I will always be grateful. Thank you.